Graduate Students

Celeste L. Andrews

Celeste earned a BA in Medieval Studies and History from Smith College in 2013, an MLitt in Medieval Studies from the University of St Andrews in 2014, and an MA in Medieval Welsh Literature from Aberystwyth University in 2016. At St Andrews, she wrote a dissertation examining how Welsh national/ethnic identity was reflected in the Cambro-Latin saints’ Lives of the late eleventh and early twelfth centuries. At Aberystwyth, she wrote on the legacy of Magnus Maximus/Maxen Wledig (and, more generally, Rome) in medieval Wales. Her primary research interests are ethnic and national identity in medieval Britain and how stories, legends, and traditions can affect that identity and influence the surrounding political culture. Email:


L. A. Brannelly


L. A. Brannelly received his BA and MA degrees in English from Hunter College (City University of New York), where he first developed an interest in the languages and literatures of medieval Britain and Ireland. At Hunter College, most of his graduate research revolved around the idea of British multilingualism and the interplay, especially, of English, Latin and Welsh in the late medieval and early modern eras. His later research (leading to his MA dissertation) was concerned almost exclusively with medieval Welsh poetry and the work of Dafydd ap Gwilym, in particular. Current interests and pursuits include exploring medieval Irish and Welsh attitudes to gender and sexuality, representations of male beauty in bardic poetry, and the possibility of applying late 20th-century postmodern theory to medieval Celtic literature.


Myrzinn Boucher-Durand

MyrzinnBefore coming to Harvard Myrzinn began an MPhil in Medieval Celtic languages and has earned an Mphil in Celtic Studies from the University of Western Brittany (Brest) in 2017, as well as a BA in Breton and Celtic from the University of Rennes II, taught through the medium of Breton, in 2014, which also included a year abroad at the NUI Galway. Her current research interests are in Old and Middle Breton.




Colin Brady

Colin BradyColin received his BA and his MA in history at University College Dublin. Before coming to Harvard he also took classes in Old Irish at Maynooth University. His primary research interest is the memory of early medieval Ireland; how it has been reconstructed and transmitted, and how it has informed contemporary identities and politics in subsequent periods. 





Elizabeth Gipson

Elizabeth GipsonBefore coming to Harvard, Elizabeth earned a BA in Celtic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. Afterwards, she traveled to Ireland where she earned an MPhil in Medieval Language, Literature, and Culture, with a thesis focused on the language of love in the Old English St Margaret tradition.

Elizabeth’s research interests include the St Brendan legend, Irish and Welsh board games, and bird lore.




Patrick McCoy

P. McCoy

Patrick is a PhD candidate in the Department of Celtic Languages & Literatures. Originally from Fairborn, Ohio, he received his BA in Medieval Studies and Classics—with a minor in Irish Language & Literature—from the University of Notre Dame. As an undergraduate, he studied abroad during his junior year at Trinity College, Dublin and interned at the Royal Irish Academy, working on the Dictionary of Medieval Latin from Celtic Sources and assisting (although quite briefly) with the St. Patrick’s Confessio Hypertext Stack Project ( He returned to Trinity as a postgraduate student, earning a Postgraduate Diploma in Old Irish and an MPhil in Early Irish. Patrick is also an Eagle Scout.

Patrick’s dissertation topic examines the non-geographic use of place in Early Irish literature, focusing specifically on Greece. His other research interests include medieval Irish language and literature, historical linguistics, and heroic literature. As a teaching fellow/teaching assistant, Patrick has taught for courses in the departments of Celtic, English, and General Education and in the Harvard Extension School. This year he is also a Media & Design Fellow at the Bok Center for Teaching & Learning.



Heather Newton

Heather Newton

Heather earned her BA from the University of California, Berkeley in 2014 with majors in English and Celtic Studies. She has done language study through the the National University of Ireland, Galway. Her current research focuses on medieval Irish heroic literature and comparisons with medieval Norse sagas.






Oisín Ó Muirthile

Oisín Ó Muirthile Before coming to Harvard, he received his B.A. in Early and Modern Irish from Trinity College Dublin. During his undergraduate degree, he spent a year in Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany, studying Celtic Studies and Indo-European historical linguistics, where he developed a keen interest in comparative philology. His current research interests include the development of the Early Irish verbal system, comparative Indo-European and Celtic linguistics, Modern Irish translation and the future of the Gaelic languages in the modern era. Email:






Kathryn O'Neill

Kathryn O'NeilBefore coming to Harvard, Kathryn studied at University College Cork, Ireland. Under the supervision of Professor Máire Herbert, she conducted research into Irish saints’ Lives and the King Cycle. She received her B.A. from DePaul University in History, with a sub-focus on Irish Studies. During her time at DePaul, she received two major awards for her scholarship in history, as well as a research grant from the university to pursue her work on the nineteenth-century Irish nationalist group, the Fenian Brotherhood. Kathryn’s interests include the historical implications found within the Irish King Cycle and Historical Tales, using literary vernacular works as a source to enrich historical accounts, and the use of tales and poems as tools for propaganda. In addition, she also has a continued interest in nineteenth-century Irish nationalism. During her time at Harvard, she hopes to pursue her driving passion, namely to expand the use of medieval Irish vernacular texts as historical sources, and thereby enhance our understanding of medieval Ireland.   Email:



Shannon Rose Parker

Shannon Parker

Shannon graduated in the summer of 2017 from Aberystwyth University with a BA in Celtic Studies taught through the medium of Welsh where her undergraduate dissertation examined place-names in Canu Heledd which are today located within Shropshire’s county border. During her undergraduate degree, Shannon also spent a semester abroad in Trinity College Dublin studying Early Irish and developed a keen interest in the saga literature. Additionally, Shannon enjoys playing early music and is interested in the history of musical traditions in Scotland and Ireland. Email:



Joseph Shack

Joe ShackBefore coming to Harvard, Joseph earned his B.A. in History and English Literature at New York University. Following his undergraduate education, Joseph traveled to England where he earned an M.A. in Medieval Studies at the University of York in 2014, where his dissertation examined the postcolonial resonances embedded in the Mabinogi's presentation of Otherworld. The following year he completed an M.A. in Welsh and Celtic Studies at Cardiff University, with his final research project focusing on the counter-discursivity inherent in the Arthurian world of Peredur. Joseph's research interests include the utilization of the Matter of Britain in regard to identity formation in the British Isles, applying post-colonial theory to medieval literature, geocriticism, particularly in regard the use of landscape in middle Welsh prose, and Celtic influence on Arthurian literature. Email:



Nicholas Thyr

Nicholas ThyrNicholas previously spent a year at the University of Cambridge, receiving an MPhil from the department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic. His interests lie mostly in medieval Irish literature, both early (Fingal Rónáin, Bethu Brigte) and late (the poetry of Tadhg Dall Ó hUiginn). Outside of scholarly pursuits, favorite pastimes include puns, walking, and arguing about the weather.





Jo Wolf

Joe Wolf

Before coming to Harvard, Joe earned a M.A. in Political Science from Virginia Tech in 2014 specializing in political theory and historical political thought. Afterwards, he traveled to Scotland where he earned a M.Litt. in Celtic Studies from the University of Glasgow in 2015 writing his dissertation on political assembly in early Irish law. Joe's research interests focus on early Irish law, comparative political assembly traditions, the history of political thought, toponymics, and mapping. In particular, he is interested in the history, place-names, and law of the Isle of Man, Scotland, and Ireland.  Email: